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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Learning, austerities, breath-control exercises, friendliness and benevolence to all, pilgrimages, religious bathing of idols, observing vows, charity and chanting of mantras – none can completely purify the inner being. It is only the eternal Lord’s presence in the heart that can achieve this.

Audio

40 - विद्यातपः

Keep the Infinite Lord in Your Heart

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विद्यातपःप्राणनिरोधमैत्रीतीर्थाभिषेकव्रतदानजप्यैः ।
नात्यन्तशुद्धिं लभतेऽन्तरात्मा यथा हृदिस्थे भगवत्यनन्ते ।।
- श्रीमद् भागवतम् १२.३.४८
vidyā-tapaḥ-prāṇanirodha-maitrī-tīrthābhiṣeka-vrata-dāna-japyaiḥ |
nātyantaśuddhiṁ labhate'ntarātmā yathā hṛdisthe bhagavatyanante ||
- Śrīmad bhāgavatam 12.3.48

Translation:

Learning, austerities, breath-control exercises, friendliness and benevolence to all, pilgrimages, religious bathing of idols, observing vows, charity and chanting of mantras – none can completely purify the inner being. It is only the eternal Lord’s presence in the heart that can achieve this.

Points for Introspection:

In order to realize God or Self, it is indispensible that one purifies one’s mind. In a vessel of clear transparent water one’s own face is seen very clearly. If the water is even a bit muddy or has ripples, one is not able to see the face clearly through the veil of impurity. Similarly is our mind. The Self is ever-present within. It is ever-effulgent, ever-revealed. Because of various impure traits of the mind – such as irritation, anger, intolerance, impatience, hatred or laziness – the mind undergoes the ripples of agitation. All the impurities are born of desires. Through these ripples of impurities, the Self, though ever-revealed, is missed by the seekers.

The question is, how to make the mind absolutely pure? The mind becomes pure in the absence of desires – gross as well as subtle. When a seeker keeps the Infinite Lord in his heart, fills his mind with the thoughts of God alone, to the exclusion of all other thoughts – all his impure traits fade away. How does this happen? When a seeker thinks of the Lord unbrokenly, enshrining Him in his own heart, he starts seeing his beloved God everywhere and in everything. His mind is filled with pure one-pointed love for God. His love for world becomes feebler. All his impure traits get sublimated making the mind calm and tranquil. In such a mind, which has become pure by virtue of devotion and love for God, and by dispassion for worldly things, Self reveals Itself most naturally.

This śloka awakens us to the following Truth. It says: the mind does not get so much purified by learning, by austerities, by breath-control, by friendliness or benevolence to all, by going on pilgrimage and taking bath in holy rivers, by giving bath to idols, taking vows, giving charity, or by chanting mantras. Instead, the mind becomes supremely pure when the infinite Lord is enshrined in the heart and is seated there in a beautiful throne made of love and devotion.

King Pareekshit sat in praayopavesha (waiting to shed the body without food and drink) after knowing about the curse that he had only seven more days to live. He asked Sukadeva how one whose death was imminent could contemplate on God unbrokenly and get absorbed in God, realizing Him within himself.

Sreemad Bhaagavatam is essentially Sri Śukadeva’s teachings to King Pareekshit. At the end of his advice and instructions to the King for reaching the state of merging in God, Sri Śukadeva tells the King how the mind can attain that supreme purity by simply keeping God in the mind and heart always.

Śukadeva tells Pareekshit: “Therefore O King, with all your mind and heart, strive to make the Lord a resident of your heart. For all mortals, this is the only way to salvation.”

When we chant this śloka, we develop a great inspiration and aspiration to be in constant God-contemplation. Eyes become moist when we try to think of the state where mind would become absolutely pure.

Word Meaning:

विद्यातपःप्राणनिरोधमैत्रीतीर्थाभिषेकव्रतदानजप्यैः (vidyā-tapaḥ-prāṇanirodha-maitrī-tīrthābhiṣeka-vrata-dāna-japyaiḥ) = by learning, austerities, breath-control exercises, friendliness and benevolence to all, pilgrimages, religious bathing of idols, observing vows, charity, chanting of mantras; न (na) = not; अत्यन्तशुद्धिम् -(atyantaśuddhim) = complete/absolute purity; लभते (labhate) = attains; अन्तरात्मा (antarātmā) = inner being; यथा (yathā) = as, like; हृदिस्थे (hṛdisthe) = seated in the heart; भगवत्यनन्ते (bhagavatyanante) = the Lord infinite.

अन्वयः

भगवत्यनन्ते हृदिस्थे (सति) अन्तरात्मा यथा अत्यन्तशुद्धिं लभते , (तथा) विद्यातपःप्राणनिरोधमैत्रीतीर्थाभिषेकव्रतदानजप्यैः न (लभ्यते) ।
bhagavatyanante hṛdisthe (sati) antarātmā yathā atyantaśuddhiṁ labhate, (tathā) Vidyā-tapaḥ-prāṇanirodha-maitrī-tīrthābhiṣekavrata- dāna-japyaiḥ na (labhyate).

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